Tales of the Riverbank: environmental problems - Context/problem-based learning


This problem-based case study looks at the environmental problems found within the fictitious Coley River system in the county of Midshire. The environmental problems found in the river are organic, inorganic and physical in nature. 



This resource provides students with a 'real' context with which to extend their knowledge of analytical chemistry and to give them the experience of tackling an extended open-ended problem. Students assume the role of the investigation team following a complaint about a reduction in the number and size of fish caught along a local river. By considering both temporal and spatial factors, the students identify an array of possible causes. As further data and information is made available, the groups are required to consider environmental issues, pollution, sampling, analytical techniques, water quality, data analysis / interpretation, toxicity, and remediation.

  • Target year group: 2 and 3 
  • Formal contact hours: 5-6
  • Independent study hours: 12